Olson Fire Tower

Backbone Tower was constructed in 1922 along Backbone Mountain in Tucker County, West Virginia. It was the first fire tower in the state. Its ownership was later transferred to the Monongahela National Forest and was used until 1963 when it was replaced with Olson Tower, named after Ernst B. Olson in recognition of 28 years of fire control and conservation program service to the Monongahela National Forest.

Olson Observation Tower

Olson Fire Tower


Blackwater Canyon Rim Trail 117

The Blackwater Canyon Rim Trail 117 is 3 miles in length, connecting the fire tower to Forest Road 18.

From Thomas, follow US Route 219 south for 6½ miles. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 18 and follow for ½ mile. Bear right onto Forest Service Road 717 and follow for 1½ miles to the fire tower site.


Olson Fire Tower Weather

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